Fishermen in Norway have caught 729 whales this year, the highest number since it resumed the controversial practice in defiance of international pressure, industry sources said on Monday.
"The season is more or less finished and it’s been very good," said Svein Ove Haugland, deputy director of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organisation.
The eventual figure may increase slightly before the season’s end but is already the highest since 1993, when Norway resumed whaling despite a worldwide moratorium, which Oslo officially rejected.
In 2013, Norway caught 590 rorqual whales, far higher than the previous year.
The yield for 2014 remains far below the country’s annual quota of 1,286 whales.
"There’s a bottleneck in the market and the distribution. We must rebuild demand for whale meat, subject to tough competition from meat (from land animals) and fish," Haugland said.